As of Friday, Uganda issued a statement regarding last week’s order by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel, also disassociating itself from a dissenting judgment by Judge Julia Sebutinde.
Bagiire Vincet Waiswa – Foreign affairs PS said the ICJ order for Israel to prevent genocide acts in Gaza is in line with the position of the recently concluded 19th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), held in Kampala on 19 – 20 January, 2024.
The Heads of State and Government of the NAM condemned the continuing Israeli military campaign against the defenseless Palestinian people, and deplored the killing of over 21,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in the period between October and December 2023.
Dissenting from the majority in the ICJ Order, Judge Sebutinde argued that the dispute between the State of Israel and the people of Palestine is essentially and historically a political one, calling for a diplomatic or negotiated settlement, and for the implementation in good faith of all relevant Security Council resolutions by all parties concerned, with a view to finding a permanent solution whereby the Israeli and Palestinian peoples can peacefully coexist. In her opinion, this is not a legal dispute susceptible of judicial settlement by the Court.
“The Government categorically clarifies that, the position taken by Judge Sebutinde is her own individual and independent opinion, and does not in any way, reflect the position of the Government of the Republic of Uganda,” Bagiire said.
The NAM called for an immediate end to the Israeli military aggression and siege on the Gaza Strip and for immediate, unimpeded and sufficient humanitarian assistance at scale, to meet the enormous needs of the Palestinian civilian population and to enable urgently needed reconstruction and recovery, in accordance with the recent Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on this matter.
They also rejected any individual or mass forcible transfer and deportation of Palestinians from the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including to any other country, which amounts to a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions.